Where does your food come from? I’m not one of those “it’s gotta be organic” nuts that’s always evangelizing the benefits of organic food. I pretty much don’t mind better living through chemistry, and am willing to eat food that has been made better and protected by science.
But I’m also one of the first people to tell you that supporting local farms is important, and not just because the green space they protect is pretty, or the cost of shipping food from a local farm is cheaper and better for the environment than bringing it in from anywhere else. When you buy local you enrich the local economy and make the place you live an even better place to live, but helping to create jobs and opportunities for your neighbors.
So when Frederick decided to host a event called Farm to Fork we just had to get the message out. The 11-day event is a celebration of the rich farming heritage in Frederick County, Maryland. The restaurants that participate have strict guide lines for their Farm to Fork menus. The dishes offered must contain 60% locally sourced ingredients. You won’t be disappointed either, the menus aren’t just some lettuce and carrots grown in someone’s backyard. I may have mentioned before but Frederick, for its size, has an amazing restaurant scene with extremely talented chefs, each up to the challenge of taking the local fare and creating something spectacular.
A couple of examples are aged Gouda-stuffed jumbo shrimp with smoked bacon wrap and roasted jalapeno aioli. If the jalapeno aioli sounds a little spicy for your palate, how about a goat feta and heirloom tomato salad with a white truffle crème fraiche, basil, and avocado powder.
The local-sourced menus don’t just stop at veggies and meat, because no meal is complete without a little vino or beer. The wines and brews had to meet the same standards as the food, so the hops, barley, and grapes all are grown in the surrounding hillsides and valleys. The vineyards in our area are growing and the region is being recognized for producing some outstanding wine. I’d put the merlot we produced from our own vineyard up against any major bottler this year.
The dates for this geographic gastronomic event are August 28th through Labor Day, for a complete listing of participating restaurants and a peek at their menus go to the Farm to Fork Frederick website.